"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Friday, February 09, 2007

HOLDING THE TOURISM BILL HOSTAGE

To end the session in the Senate, Senator Richard J. Gordon gave a heartfelt speech on the state of Philippine politics.

“Tonight, I was told that the Tourism Bill will not be passed in the House of Representatives unless the party reform bill was going to be passed. I am shocked beyond belief that people called me to tell me that they will hold back a bill this important to force another to be passed. We do not hold hostage the lives of millions of people,” said Senator Gordon.

“Is the tourism bill so unimportant that we take it hostage in a political horse trading? The tourism bill is dedicated to people who have no opportunities in life. People laden with poverty are the ones being crushed. Their poverty can and will be addressed by improving our tourism industry. The mere fact that I am asked to trade off one kind of development for another shows clearly that the business of our country today is just plain politics and not the upliftment of our people,” said Gordon

Despite long hours spent in deliberation and amendments, the Senate passed on third reading today the Tourism Bill sponsored by Gordon. The bill aims make possible, three fundamental reforms in the tourism sector. These reforms are at the heart of the Tourism Act of 2007, namely: (1) to uplift the standards of tourism services, (2) to aggressively promote our tourism industry’s strong points and (3) to develop existing and new tourism destinations in the Philippines.

Gordon laments the poor political tactics of the people in Congress. The tourism bill has received support from both the local and international community.

“I am a transparent person. I always have been. All my life, I have tried to implement reforms. I am not made to accept things as they are, I want to see things as they should be. I stand tonight here before you to put on record that we must always remember that our people depend on us. They need our support --our leadership. Today, I bow my head, for we have failed the Filipino people yet again,” said Gordon.
END

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